Weight Loss Unmasked: A five part series looking deeper at why we struggle with losing weight
By Briana Boehmer
We’ve all heard it, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. I spent nearly 2 years researching and working on energy metabolism post college and sure enough, fundamentally a calorie no matter how you cut it is a calorie. A calorie is a measure of energy derived from food. However, it’s important to look at the big picture…it’s just not that simple! When it comes to weight loss and how your body processes energy in relation to your daily needs the SOURCE of your calories can make a difference.
There is still a lot of research to be done on low-carb, low-fat, and every other form of diet combination out there. Researchers are working hard daily to unravel the mysteries around how we gain and lose weight. Yet let’s not forget a very important concept: Too much of ANYTHING can have serious health implications (yes, there can be too much of a good thing). Your body needs each of the three macronutrients – carbohydrates, fat and protein for a reason. Hence you need to carefully consider your PERSONAL needs for each when looking at your daily nutrition.
It is my contention that we are certainly not undernourished in this country, but we are MALNOURISHED. Simply put, we don’t get all of the essential nutrients we need to truly fuel our body to optimal health. Think of it this way, if you ate chocolate all day and made sure it was just the “right” amount to meet your needs would that be healthy? Of course not, you would be missing so much nutrition from your diet…so in this case a calorie is not a calorie in that they are not all created equal!
Ok, so now you’re asking how do I find and eat the BEST calories and lose weight? That is the million dollar question. You have your own unique needs, so again make sure you focus on your body. However, when starting to change your diet for the better determine how well you are supplying your body with the following:
- Fiber: Instrumental in digestive health, fiber is not able to be completely digested by your body and hence has shown positive results in relation to weight loss. Fiber tends to have a satiating effect and helps regulate blood sugar levels.
- Protein: Beyond the obvious nutritional value of protein for your body, it also is the most satiating of the three macronutrients.
- Fruits and Veggies: When I have my clients log their food I am always shocked at how low fruit and veggie consumption tends to be. I have had many people say they are getting in “plenty” of these two vital food groups, yet when the rubber hits the road they are severely lacking. Start simple and journal your fruit and veggie consumption…I bet you’ll be surprised at what you find.
I have one final task for you – Take the time to journal your food in 411Fit.com for TWO weekdays and ONE weekend. In my next blog I will have you assign nutritional “values” to the food you consumed so that you can see first-hand the impact of the calories you are eating!